Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Supreme Court overturns pit bull ban

By Jesse Wells, KFOR

A Midwest City family wins a long overdue court battle against the city. The family had been fighting for years to save their bull terrier pets. This week a state supreme court ruling ends the long legal battle.

Lower courts had previously ruled the dog ban violated state law.

This week the state supreme court refused to take up the issue, which means the Midwest City ban is now officially dead.


The dog owner at the heart of the lawsuit is obviously thrilled by the decision.

"It's a huge relief," said dog owner Jerry Stuckey.

The dispute centered on a now defunct Midwest City ordinance that banned dogs with "pit" or "bull" in their names as a danger to the community.

That included the Stuckey's bull terrier dogs.

"It was just a bad ordinance. It was unconstitutional," said Stuckey.

After filing suit in 2007, Scott Adams always argued and lower court judges agreed, Oklahoma state law prohibits dog bans from being breed specific.

"It was a waste of money and time. I tried to tell everyone that from day one but the city wanted to pursue it. We defended it and won," said the Stuckey's attorney Scott Adams.

"What it has taken away is the presumption that all pit bulls are dangerous animals," said Midwest City attorney Katherine Bolles.

Bolles argued all along, the issue is much bigger than just the Stuckey's pets; it's about city's being able to set their own laws.

"It's not about about the dogs. It's about local control," said Bolles.

"I'm tickled to death the Supreme Court has the common sense they have," said Stuckey.

With no more legal options, Midwest City could still lobby state lawmakers to overturn state law.

They could also draft a new, much less restrictive ordinance.

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